The UFC is set to go down in Seattle, Washington this weekend and features a dynamic title fight in the light weight division between Ben Henderson and Nate Diaz. Also, Shogun Rua will be taking on the rising start Alexander Gustafsson. Let’s now take a look at the rest of the main card and make some predictions.
Main Event (Light Weight Championship)
Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz is a fight that could go either way. Ben, one of the strongest athletes in the division, has the wrestling to negate Nate’s submission game if he is one top. However, Nate has markedly improved in his wrestling defense and his scrambles, so this fight is no picnic for Henderson. In my head, I have to go with Henderson; I just think he is too strong for Diaz and will be able to grind out a decision, making it his second consecutive title defense victory. Final Prediction: Ben Henderson wins via unanimous decision.
Co-Main Event (Light Heavyweight)
In the co-main event, Shogun Rua will battle Alexander Gustaffson. Alexander has won five straight in the row, beating four of his opponents by either submission or TKO. However, I don’t think he has ever fought a high-caliber striker like Rua. Sure, Rua has aged and slowed down, but he certainly showed his grit in his last performance against Brandon Vera. I have a feeling Rua will be able to impose his will on the ground, submitting Gustafsson at some point, who has shown deficiencies on the ground. Final Prediction: Shogun Rua wins via submission in the second round.
B.J. Penn has said all of the right things leading up to his highly anticipated return against rising contender Rory MacDonald. Also, Penn looks to be in good shape, but the question always remains. Which B.J. Penn are we going to see come fight night? Many feel that Penn’s losses predicated on his cardio deficiencies, but I prefer to believe he was just out-muscled and outclassed. Rory is a serious threat and has shown to be dynamic on the ground. If Penn can’t stop Rory within the first round, then it’s going to be a long night for “The Prodigy”. I believe Rory will stay out of danger and get this fight to the ground and push Penn to his limits, finishing Penn in the later rounds. Final Prediction: Rory MacDonald wins via TKO in the second round.
Mike Swick will step back into action against the always durable Matt Brown. This fight certainly has the makings to be a war if left standing, which is where I think this fight stays. Swick has shown he still can compete with the big boys, beating DeMarques Johnson in dramatic fashion early in the year. Brown, who has shown to be inconsistent at this point in his career, is simply outmatched in every aspect of this fight. Swick will get the better of the exchanges on the feet, and don’t be surprised if he ends up catching Brown with his patented Swickatine. Final Prediction: Mike Swick wins via submission in the first round.